Home CIO Special Tarun Bali, Head IT, Quest Retail Pvt. Ltd., The Bodyshop

Tarun Bali, Head IT, Quest Retail Pvt. Ltd., The Bodyshop


What according to you are the three biggest/ most important changes happening in the world of technology?

Evolution of Smart sensors/ Artificial Intelligence inspired by neuroscience/ D printing

How do you think these changes will impact Indian retail?

Retail being so dynamic and technology consuming industry touching everyone in-person irrespective of profession, knowledge, age, and gender. Diversified customer’s demands, shopping habits and real time feedback and suggestions evolving and infl uencing business every minute. A part from specialised products and service offering retailers are under constant pressure to deliver wow experience and value added service using augmented realty, IOT’s, gamification and smart analytics to connect & engage them continuously. Adaptation or non-adaptation of new age technology will certainly going to impact every business positively if chosen or negatively if opted out now.

What are the 3 game changing technologies in the space of customer experience?

Augmented reality, Self-assisted Kiosk and checkouts Chat and Voice bots

What are the top priorities for you in the coming years you as CIO of the company/ brand?

I am working on building one eco-system for 360 degree customer view, recognizing their needs precisely on time complemented by relevant in stock products. In current digital age world customers are bombarded by same set of products which either they have bought or already out of stocks. This is just adding doubts on the technology capabilities if not used with common sense.
– I am extending post shopping product rating and review system for in-store shoppers to generate additional contents and conversations to reach out every customers irrespective of shopping channel they are connecting that too organically.
– Developing Bots to assist customer digitally in selecting products regime In-Store and Online.
– Creating new age secure infrastructure to protect from external threats and internal data leakage.

Top 3 challenges retailers will face from a Technology point of view in India?

– Slow rate of technology adaptation within employees
– Management, governance and control on multiple applicationenvironments and integration.
– Exponential data growth, high velocity of change management and data security and privacy protection.

How is IoT shaping up the industry? Tell us about the role and significance of IoT in your company?

IoT adaptation varies from company to company. For beauty and cosmetics Retail domain it would help in recognising customer sentiments through camera sensors, analysing in-store traffic and converting them as shoppers in real time. IOT can help out in building Virtual assist to ‘try on’ makeup look before actually buying the final products. We surely working on that.

What would success look like for you in a couple of years in terms of the company and technology?

Success of Brand complemented with technology would be worth if we will be able to make customer satisfied & happy whether it’s about keeping relevant inventory what he/she is looking for or Omnichannel anywhere anytime shopping preference or quick resolution of the complaints and queries raised by him/her. Technology should be able to capture and track every movement and conversation, recognizing bottlenecks in customer journey and proactively or reactively eliminating the hurdles timely and consciously. This would certainly make customer brand loyal and extremely happy. Only irate customers can be brand loyal if their concerns and requirements addressed properly and quickly.

Your top 3 favourite retail technologies, which you would like to introduce in India?

– Image recognition and self-assisted checkouts
– Virtual shopping through Augmented Reality.
– AI assisted real time product recommendation for In-Store shoppers without any digital divide. It should not be limited to online buyers.